Thursday, July 26, 2012

Orphan Block Mini-Mitts

Those 3-1/2" four-patch orphan blocks I've been talking about for the past few weeks continue to haunt me. This week, I cleaned out a corner of the sewing studio and I came upon a mystery box. I looked inside to find another 50-60 four-patches! Just when I thought I was making some headway, too.

Ah, well. Fortunately this isn't a goal I plan to
finish any time soon!

Last weekend I headed out of town for a sewing retreat at Turtle Landing Retreat in Fulton. Just a few girls getting together to sew (everybody who came received an orphan pin cushion for a "party favor"--wink wink!) I brought some matching blue and white four-patch blocks and a sample of a new product by The Warm Company called Insul-Shine.
The Insul-Shine is similar to Insul-Brite, also from The Warm Company, but it's much shinier on one side to reflect heat. And you can sew through it just like batting. It has many household uses including my next project!

Mini Oven Mitts!

Aside from the four-patches, I used about 1/2 of a yard of fabric cut into six chunks, each about 9" square, four for the lining and two for the palm of the mitt. Four scrap batting pieces, each about 12" square. And two pieces of Insul-Shine, about 12" square. Supplies may vary depending on the size of the orphan block panel and the size of the mitt. Mine were quite small, so these quantities were plenty.

I sewed the four patches in three rows of three blocks. On a piece of paper, I roughly traced a mitten shape around my hand; drawing the lines at least 1" away from my hand on all sides. Then I drew a line straight across the bottom at the wrist and I cut the shape out of the paper.
Four-Patch panel for mitt exterior
Next I layered a piece of scrap batting and the four-patch panel on top, right side up. Pin basted. Made two.

Four-patch layered with batting and pin-basted.
Quilted each and set them aside. These will be used for the top of the mitts.
I then rougly cut two pieces of fabric for the palm. Since this is the side of the mitt that will touch the hot object, it's important to layer the Insul-Shine so it faces out--toward the palm of the mitt, also including an extra layer of cotton batting. So, from bottom up, I layered a batting scrap, a piece of Insul-Shine, shiny side up, and the palm fabric, right side up. Pin basted lightly to secure layers. I made two.
Palm fabric, pin-basted with batting and Insul-Shine.
Next I quilted each panel lightly. Notice that I traced a hand shape lightly on each, so I could quilt in the right spots.

Once I finished the quilting, I traced a hand shape on the batting side of each palm unit. Notice that one hand shape is traced in reverse.
Layer and sew palm panels.

Then I placed a quilted top panel and a quilted palm panel right sides together with the palm panel and the hand tracing showing. I pinned around the shape, and sewed 1/4" inside the line. I repeated this process for the second set of quilted panels. Similarly, I drew a hand shape on the wrong side of one lining square and placed it right sides together with a second lining square. I then sewed around the shape 1/4" inside the lines, leaving a 4" opening near the fingers for turning. I made two linings.
Sew around the hand shape.

Then trimmed on the line. It's starting to look like something.
Trim each panel.

Made two mitt exteriors and two linings.
Trimmed and ready to assemble.

Turned each mitt right side out. Then placed the mitt inside the lining so right sides were facing. I added a little fabric tab made from scraps for hanging. For each mitt, I pinned one tab in between the mitt and lining at the outside of the wrist, raw edges aligned. Then I sewed around the wrist.
Just like making a handbag. Put the exterior inside the lining, right sides facing. Then sew around the rim.

Before inserting the lining into the mitt, at the opening in the lining, I turned the raw edges in, and edgestitched to close it. Then I stuffed the lining inside the mitts.
Tuck seam allowance inside, and sew the opening closed.


Ta-da! A pair of insulated Mini-Mitts. 

These could easily be made larger, but I wanted to use up the matched blue and white four-patch blocks, and I didn't have enough orphan blocks that matched to make it bigger. For me, they fit perfectly! And they work great. I've already given them a test run with some yummy summer bar-be-que. That's 18 more orphan four-patch blocks that aren't orphans anymore. Yippee!

AND, the nice folks at The Warm Company are throwing in some Insul-Shine into our GREAT Summer Orphan Block Challenge Prize Package. The list of goodies is growing! Will YOU win the grand prize package?

Now, what to do with that box I found in my sewing room today. I really do think it's time for a change in pace.

Happy Stitching!

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